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Cancer Negligence Claims

Sarah's Story: Misdiagnosis claim following the death of her husband from cancer

Cancer Negligence Claims


Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer. It’s a distressing diagnosis for many patients and their families.


When you’re dealing with such a difficult diagnosis, concerns over the quality of care you’re receiving should be the last thing on your mind. But unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made and diagnoses are wrong or delayed. When you’re dealing with something as deadly as cancer, these mistakes can have huge and sometimes fatal repercussions.


At Fletchers Solicitors, we understand how frightening and distressing cancer treatment can be, especially when things go wrong. Our expert team of medical negligence specialists are experienced in dealing with all types of cancer claims and handle each case with compassion and empathy.


What is a cancer negligence claim?


Whilst the NHS generally has a good reputation for cancer treatment, sometimes mistakes and delays can impact the quality of care.


Almost half of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage and some patients will suffer a delay in the treatment of their cancer. Delay or failure to diagnose cancer can not only be distressing for the patient, but it can have a detrimental impact on their treatment options and in some cases their prospects of recovery.


In most instances, the delay is due to GP negligence in their failure to appreciate symptoms, investigate further or to refer patients to specialists. In some instances, this can also be due to misinterpretation of test results which leads to misdiagnosis and delays.


Fletchers Solicitors’ medical negligence lawyers are experts in dealing with cancer claims and the types of negligence that can occur with cancer treatment and diagnosis. Not only do we use our specialist knowledge to build a case, but we also have access to medical experts who can give an informed opinion on your claim and treatment options.


We put our clients and their families interests at the heart of everything we do. Our specialist team will do everything they can to advise, support and guide you through the legal process to help you find the justice you deserve.


Different types of cancer negligence claims


The most common forms of cancer for men are prostate, lung and bowel cancer, whilst for women the most common form of cancers are to the breast, lung and bowel.


Common types of cancer:


  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Breast cancer


As some cancers do not necessarily portray symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose, and therefore delays in providing the appropriate treatment are not always negligent. When identifying a medical negligence claim, our specialists will investigate:


  • If symptoms are missed or are not recognised, leading to a delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis
  • If there is a failure to appreciate the relevance of symptoms which are suggestive of cancer and a failure to make a fast and appropriate referral to a specialist
  • If there are avoidable complications during treatment and care
  • A negligent error in the diagnosing and staging of your cancer
  • On some occasions, the results of tests can be misinterpreted which can result in a misdiagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis, where patients are diagnosed with the wrong type of cancer or do not have cancer


Cancer is a devastating disease and you deserve the best treatment to defeat it. If you feel that you have experienced an incident that should not have happened during your care, then Fletchers Solicitors will make sure you get the justice and treatment you deserve.

Is there a time limit on making a cancer negligence claim?


You have three years from the “date of knowledge” to make a cancer negligence claim.


The “date of knowledge” is the date you first found out or became aware of negligent treatment. This is not three years from when the mistake happened, but three years from when you first knew that something had gone wrong. Often people find out that a mistake has been made straight away, but sometimes it can actually be a matter of months, even years, before anyone admits that something has gone wrong.


If you or the person the mistake happened to is, or was under the age of 18 at the time the incident occurred, then the time limit is three years from the date of their 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday).


If the person the mistake happened to does not have the mental capacity to recognise the mistake, there can be no time limit.


If you’re unsure about the timescales of your claim or if there is any ambiguity around the details of your claim, we recommend you speak to one of our legal advisors free of charge on 0330 013 0251.